29 January 2010

Its you or Him.

This was the task set before the Baptist as he lay in prison: to become blessed by this unquestioning acceptance of God's obscure will; to reach the point of asking no further for external, visible, unequivocal clarity, but instead, of discovering God precisely in the darkness of this world and of his own life, and thus becoming profoundly blessed.

In point of fact, we cannot see God as we see an apple tree or a neon sign, that is, in a purely external way that requires no interior commitment. We can see him only by becoming like him, by reaching the level of reality on which God exists; in other words by being liberated from what is anti-divine.

John, then, even in his prison cell had to respond once again and anew to his own call for metanoia or a change of mentality, in order that he might recognize his God in the night in which all things earthly exist.

The Christian of our day, too, can be shown no other way to friendship with God than the way of ceasing to look for external clarity and beginning to turn from the visible to the invisible and thus truly finding the Lord who is the real foundation and support of our existence. Only when we act in this manner does another and doubtless the greatest saying of the Baptist reveal its full significance: He must increase, but I must decrease (Jn 3:30). We will know God to the extent that we are set free from ourselves.

Pope Benedict XVI

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